Post List

  • March 23, 2010
  • 08:27 PM

Aging and Degeneration of the Innate Immune System

by Reason in Fight Aging!

Much of the discussion of the age-related decline of the immune system that can be found in the Fight Aging! archives is focused on the adaptive immune system. But the innate immune system also becomes damaged and dysfunctional with age. Here is a quick summary of the functional difference between these two components of the immune system: The immune system protects organisms from infection with layered defenses of increasing specificity. Most simply, physical barriers prevent pathogens such as ........ Read more »

Hajishengallis G. (2010) Too Old to Fight? Aging and its Toll on Innate Immunity. Molecular oral microbiology, 25(1), 25-37. PMID: 20305805  

  • March 23, 2010
  • 07:14 PM

Exercise for overweight or obesity

by PhD Blogger in Exercise Psychology

This report is a systematic review of the evidence on Exercise for overweight or obesity.  It's in the form of a  Cochrane Report.  The Cochrane Collaboration is an international, independent, not-for-profit organisation of over 27,000 contributors from more than 100 countries, dedicated to making up-to-date, accurate information about the effects of health care readily available worldwide.  It is a thorough review of the evidence in the area of obesity and exercise and it........ Read more »

Shaw K, Gennat H, O'Rourke P, & Del Mar C. (2006) Exercise for overweight or obesity. Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online). PMID: 17054187  

  • March 23, 2010
  • 06:25 PM

Preserving a culture in wild honey

by Alun in AlunSalt

“What is heritage?” sounds like the kind of essay question a lecturer might set when they run out of inspiration. It depends where you ask it. In some places it’s a question that carries a sting for the unwary. In the UK it’s almost always old buildings. Sometimes it’s very old buildings, but we build [...]... Read more »

  • March 23, 2010
  • 06:00 PM

Hands Off My Bone!

by Jason Goldman in The Thoughtful Animal

Figure 1: Zooky stole his bone.

I know that I wrote about dogs yesterday. I don’t usually like to focus too much on any one particular animal two days in a row. But. This paper was too cool to put off.
Different dog growls mean different things, right? Probably. But can you tell the difference?
Here’s a dog [...]... Read more »

Farago, T., Pongracz, P., Range, F., Viranyi, Z., & Miklosi, A. (2010) ‘The bone is mine’: affective and referential aspects of dog growls. Animal Behaviour, 917-925. info:/10.1016/j.anbehav.2010.01.005

  • March 23, 2010
  • 06:00 PM

How native-like is a cold-denatured structure?

by Michael Clarkson in Conformational Flux

A protein has several different levels of structure. The primary structure is the arrangements of atoms and bonds, and it is formed in the ribosome by the assembly of amino acids as directed by an RNA template. The secondary structure is the local topology, the helices and strands, and this forms mostly because of the release of energy through the formation of hydrogen bonds. The tertiary structure is the actual fold of the protein, the way helices, strands, and loops are arranged in space. The ........ Read more »

  • March 23, 2010
  • 04:35 PM

Meth Babies—Fact or Fiction?

by Dirk Hanson in Addiction Inbox

Research team finds brain abnormalities.

When it came to babies born to crack-addicted mothers, the media went overboard, creating a crisis in the form of an epidemic that never quite was. By contrast, when it came to babies born to alcoholic mothers, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome went unrecognized in the science and medical community until 1968.

Now comes a study on prenatal methamphetamine exposure in The Journal of Neuroscience, headed up by Elizabeth Sowell of the University of California, Los ........ Read more »

  • March 23, 2010
  • 04:25 PM

There are side effects, and there are real side effects

by Lorimer Moseley in BodyInMind

The NEJM just posted this entry that clearly shows that when clinicians report side effects of the drugs that their patient is taking, their reports don’t agree with what patients report. Interestingly, clinicians are doing the reporting of these side effects as part of their participation in clinical trials, and the clinical trials are almost [...]... Read more »

  • March 23, 2010
  • 04:00 PM

Carbon Nanotubes for Successful Late-Stage Chemotherapy

by Michael Long in Phased

Ren'an Wu, Hanfa Zou (Chinese Academy of Sciences), and coworkers have used carbon nanotubes to kill the cancer cells that commonly linger after chemotherapy, which are a major threat to successful treatment. This news feature was written on March 23, 2010.... Read more »

  • March 23, 2010
  • 02:32 PM

Efficiency & pain management

by Bronwyn Thompson in Healthskills: Skills for Healthy Living

I can’t remember a time when people working in health were told ‘Go and spend as much as you like to help people get well’ – in fact, in over 20 years I can only recall being told ‘there is less money in the kitty, we need to look for efficiencies, tighten your belts’!
So it’s [...]... Read more »

  • March 23, 2010
  • 02:07 PM

Does gene function predict molecular evolutionary rate?

by stajich in The Hyphal Tip

Gene sequences evolve at different rates due to different constraints, either due to chromosome position, functional constraint, and status as a single-copy or multi-copy gene.  In a recent paper, Allen Rodrigo (the new NESCent director by the, way, congrats!) the authors hypothesize that correlation in branch lengths of gene trees suggest they operate in the [...]... Read more »

  • March 23, 2010
  • 01:45 PM

Implied motion in Hokusai Manga

by Mo in Neurophilosophy

Click to enlarge images

ARTISTS employ a number of different techniques to represent implied motion in two-dimensional works. One of these, commonly used in posters, comics and animation, is the affine shear effect, whereby a moving object is depicted as leaning into the direction of movement. Cartoonists also use action lines to depict movement and speed, with straight lines conveying fast movements and wavy lines conveying slower ones. Motion can also be conveyed by superimposing several imag........ Read more »

  • March 23, 2010
  • 01:35 PM

Bhut Jolokia: World’s Hottest Chili Goes to War

by agoldstein in WiSci

Bhut jolokia is now confirmed to be the world’s spiciest chili and is being used to create natural, nontoxic weapons.... Read more »

  • March 23, 2010
  • 01:18 PM

Famous Footprints Yield New Insights Into How Fossil Humans Walked

by Laelaps in Laelaps

A comparison of three-dimensional scans of hominin footprints. Top) A footprint made by an experimental subject using a normal, "extended" gait. Middle) A footprint made by an experimental subject using a "bent-knee, bent-hip" gait. Bottom) A Laetoli footprints. From Raichlen et al., 2010.

About 3.6 million years ago, at a spot now in Laetoli, Tanzania, a pair of hominins trudged through the ashfall dumped onto the landscape by a nearby volcano. We don't know for certain what they looked l........ Read more »

  • March 23, 2010
  • 11:00 AM

Super fruits, super marketing.

by Colby in

0Last year was the year of the acai berry.  Mangosteen, noni, goji, and others also proliferate on the juice and supplement market.  Some are predicting what will be next.  Are these so called “superfruits”  any better than “regular” fruit?
Let’s look at a few lines of evidence.
What makes a fruit “super”?
First of all, we have to [...]... Read more »

Pérez VI, Bokov A, Van Remmen H, Mele J, Ran Q, Ikeno Y, & Richardson A. (2009) Is the oxidative stress theory of aging dead?. Biochimica et biophysica acta, 1790(10), 1005-14. PMID: 19524016  

Shukitt-Hale B, Lau FC, & Joseph JA. (2008) Berry fruit supplementation and the aging brain. Journal of agricultural and food chemistry, 56(3), 636-41. PMID: 18211020  

Seeram NP, Aviram M, Zhang Y, Henning SM, Feng L, Dreher M, & Heber D. (2008) Comparison of antioxidant potency of commonly consumed polyphenol-rich beverages in the United States. Journal of agricultural and food chemistry, 56(4), 1415-22. PMID: 18220345  

  • March 23, 2010
  • 10:52 AM

Shaping a Stem Cell’s Future

by Rob Mitchum in ScienceLife

Stem cells are a little like teenagers, full of potential but not sure what they’re going to be when they grow up. It’s that uncertain destiny that makes stem cells so exciting to scientists and physicians, who hope to someday use them for everything from spinal cord repair to organ regeneration. But corralling the uncertain [...]... Read more »

Kilian, K., Bugarija, B., Lahn, B., & Mrksich, M. (2010) Geometric cues for directing the differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107(11), 4872-4877. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0903269107  

  • March 23, 2010
  • 09:17 AM

Shocking control: wild gray wolves and shock collars

by DeLene Beeland in Wild Muse

The first time I heard someone discuss using shock collars as a control technique for wild wolves, I thought it must be a really bad joke. Only, it wasn’t. It fell squarely under the heading of “aversive conditioning” a school of thought aimed at devising ways to keep wolves where we humans want them to [...]... Read more »

Hawley, J., Gehring, T., Schultz, R., Rossler, S., & Wydeven, A. (2009) Assessment of Shock Collars as Nonlethal Management for Wolves in Wisconsin. Journal of Wildlife Management, 73(4), 518-525. DOI: 10.2193/2007-066  

  • March 23, 2010
  • 05:00 AM

Grassland conservation hits ranchers in the wallet

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

... Read more »

Dunn, B., Smart, A., Gates, R., Johnson, P., Beutler, M., Diersen, M., & Janssen, L. (2010) Long-Term Production and Profitability From Grazing Cattle in the Northern Mixed Grass Prairie. Rangeland Ecology , 63(2), 233-242. DOI: 10.2111/REM-D-09-00042.1  

  • March 23, 2010
  • 04:44 AM

Who *isn't* afraid of Alzheimer's?

by Diane Jacobs in Neurotonics

I have found microglia interesting to learn about in the past, and have written here, here, here, here, and here, about their proposed relationship to pain.Yesterday I saw a news story about researchers in Germany who carefully studied the relationship between microglia and neurons undergoing Alzheimer-like changes in mice, Dangerous custodians: Immune cells as possible nerve-cell killers in Alzheimer's disease, and was immediately intrigued.An advance online publication of the paper, Microgli........ Read more »

Fuhrmann, M., Bittner, T., Jung, C., Burgold, S., Page, R., Mitteregger, G., Haass, C., LaFerla, F., Kretzschmar, H., & Herms, J. (2010) Microglial Cx3cr1 knockout prevents neuron loss in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease. Nature Neuroscience. DOI: 10.1038/nn.2511  

  • March 23, 2010
  • 04:18 AM

Mirror neurons support action understanding -- "from the inside"?

by Greg Hickok in Talking Brains

I think we are getting closer to understanding what mirror neurons are doing. No longer is it claimed that mirror neurons are THE basis for "action understanding". Now, according to Rizzolatti & Sinigaglia's new review (2010), there are several non-mirror mechanisms that can accomplish this:We conclude that, although there are several mechanisms through which one can understand the behaviour of other individuals...Mirror neurons do something else (R&S would probably prefer the term, more, but ........ Read more »

  • March 22, 2010
  • 11:04 PM

Porcine circovirus DNA in rotavirus vaccine

by Vincent Racaniello in virology blog

The US Food and Drug Administration has recommended that administration of the Rotarix vaccine, which protects against rotavirus infection, be suspended. This action comes after an independent research group found that the vaccine contains DNA of porcine circovirus type 1.
Rotaviruses are the single leading cause of diarrhea in infants and young children. Each year rotavirus [...]... Read more »

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